Health and Safety Policies

Our Policies and Statements

Health and Safety rules for Visitors

Visitors are expected to take a level of personal responsibility for their own safety and wellbeing during their visit to Seaforde Gardens. They should follow any verbal instructions, signage and policies and adhere to the following;

  • All children aged 16 and under must be accompanied and supervised by an adult at all times.
  • Due to the presence of peacocks, dogs are not allowed in Seaforde Gardens or the Tropical Butterfly House. Dogs may be walked in the parking area but should be kept on a lead at all times and under control. You must clean up after your dog.
  • Smoking and alcohol is not permitted in Seaforde Gardens or in the Tropical Butterfly House.

For the safety of our visitors, our staff and our wildlife it is prohibited to take any of the following into Seaforde  Estate: weapons, fireworks, smoke bombs, glass bottles, flammable liquids, BBQ’s or other items that may cause injury.

Gardens and Maze

Due to the very nature of the gardens please be aware of your footing as there are uneven paths. The pathways are checked regularly but please wear suitable footwear.

  • Do not climb on walls, fences, or gates.
  • Do not enter prohibited areas
  • Visitors must not pick flowers in the gardens or uproot any plants, shrubs or trees in the gardens.
  • Do not climb trees in the gardens.
  • No fires are permitted in the gardens.
  • Visitors must always keep to the allocated paths at all times.
  • Adults must instruct their children what to do if they get lost, in particular in the maze. Please refer to our lost child policy.

Play Area for Children

  • Children must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Play area is for under 12 years only.
  • Please take turns on the equipment during busy times so everyone is able to have fun.
  • No pushing please and think about children smaller than yourself.

Butterfly House

  • Please be aware that the butterflies may land on you, on the path or close to you, as they are free flying.
  • Please do not touch any caterpillars or plants during your visit.
  • You are not allowed to eat or drink inside the Butterfly House, as it may attract butterflies to you – this increases the chance of them leaving with you! It can also attract more harmful pests.
  • Please make sure you take care to watch where you step, so as not to crush the butterflies.
  • Please do not try to remove them from your clothing, as they are very delicate and may die in the process. Ask a member of staff if you need assistance.
  • Please close any bags and pockets (if possible) before entering, as you may discover a butterfly has hidden inside when you get home.
  • Please note that pets are not allowed into the Butterfly House, but Guide Dogs or other assistance animals are welcome.
  • When you are about to leave, please check your clothes for any butterflies that may have landed on you. If unsure, please ask a member of staff.

Pond area

Whilst the pond area is so beneficial to children, enabling them to see wildlife, they should never be left unsupervised beside water – of any depth.

Please explain to children that they are not allowed to go near the pond without being accompanied by an adult. Explain that water can be dangerous and what could happen if they are not careful around it.

The pond is there as a visual attraction, and it is forbidden for anyone to enter the pond.

Mughal Tower

Children climbing up the steps of the Mughal Tower must be accompanied by an adult. The most obvious hazard in the Tower is falling so please abide by the following rules;

  • Do not climb on walls.
  • Horseplay will not be tolerated in this area.
  • Please be patient and await your turn to climb the tower.
  • Please watch your step when using the steps
  • Pushing, shoving or crowding whilst in the tower is extremely dangerous.

Bees and Wasps

These are natural inhabitants of the countryside. Bees and wasps pose no risk unless provoked.  They tend to live around bushes and trees. Please advise a member of staff if you or anyone in your group has a severe allergic reaction to stings.

In the unlikely event that a visitor or member of staff is stung by a bee or wasp please make sure the first aider is aware in the first instance. Any asthma/hay fever sufferers should make sure they bring their medication with them.

We carry out daily inspections to remove any wasp nests; however it is not company policy to destroy bee nests/hives.


Visitors should make themselves aware of the pollen count prior to their visit to Seaforde Gardens and take all necessary precautions. Ensure that asthma sufferers bring their inhalers.

Lost Child Policy and Procedure

At Seaforde Gardens we aim to ensure that every child is safe and secure in all the services that we provide. The best way to help a lost child is to try and prevent it happening in the first place.

On entry into Seaforde Gardens show children the location of the Gift Shop and explain to them that this is where they must go if they find themselves lost.  Alternatively, ask a member of staff to take them to the Gift Shop.

In summary:

  • Encourage children to stay close to you
  • Use reins or wrist links
  • Don’t leave a child in an unsupervised play area
  • Make a note of what your child is wearing
  • Carry a recent photograph of your child

Although it is a requirement that you supervise your children at all times we do realise that they can slip away from you in a moment. If this happens please do not panic but alert a member of our staff as quickly as possible and we will carry out a structured search of the site for you, by starting at the exit points.  Stay as close to where you last saw them.

Group Visits

Group leaders must instruct children of action to take if they become lost.  Staff are trained to manage finding lost children. Please report lost children to a member of staff immediately with a clear description of the child and their last known location. During Group visits children should be counted on and off the bus.  Random head counts should be taken throughout the day.  Adequate ratios of adult to child must be maintained for visiting groups.

Group booking agreement

Large groups are very welcome at Seaforde Gardens and we cater towards all sorts of group visits including youth clubs, summer schemes, disabled groups, mum and toddler groups and many more.

We have certain rules in places for larger groups to ensure the health and safety of all children in the group, as well as other patrons in the Estate.

The following rules apply for groups with 20 children or more:

Group leaders must have a list of children in their care and carry out periodic checks of numbers. Children must be counted on to the coach twice prior to departure. Group leaders must instruct children of action to take if they become lost. Lost children should make their way to the Gift Shop. Please report lost children to a member of staff immediately with a clear description of the child and their last known location.

All children in the group must wear something identifiable so that our staff and group leaders can easily identify all children that are with the group. (ie. T-shirt, wristband, badge, sticker, hat etc).

Appropriate supervision MUST be provided and a suitable adult: child ratio. The following ratio is recommended by the Education Authority for educational trips:

  • Foundation Stage (P1/P2) one adult for up to a maximum of ten young people.
  • Key Stages 1 and 2 (P3-P7) one adult for up to a maximum of fifteen young people.

First Aid

There are multiple first aid kits located around the sites with signage indicating their location. Our first aiders names are displayed. Please inform a member of staff should you require first aid. One of our trained first aiders will be happy to help.

Emergency Provisions / Fire

All of our fire extinguishers, fire alarm systems, emergency lighting and other emergency equipment are all inspected by externally qualified technicians and in-house competent persons.

If the fire alarm goes off our staff will begin evacuation procedures.

Please follow all instructions given to you by our staff. Please make your way to our Assembly Point at the Entrance gate.

Our managers and supervisory team will be sweeping all areas of the Estate and will help any vulnerable persons to evacuate. We have numerous fire extinguishers situated around the site and staff are trained in their safe and correct use.

Drone Flying by members of the Public is NOT permitted

We do not grant permission for private flying of drones from our land and property for the following reasons;

  • Our visitors value the peace and tranquillity of our gardens. The presence of drones can impinge on the quiet enjoyment of our visitors and therefore potentially presents a public nuisance risk.
  • Our Estate consists of wildlife and animals that are sensitive to disturbance which could be alarmed or stressed by the presence of drones.
  • Most drones have cameras attached, the use of which could contravene our rules on commercial photography and filming.

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  • Seaforde, County Down
  • BT30 8PG    View map

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